View over Butuan City - Butuan City Philippines
Butuan City Philippines is a very renowned city in Mindanao. It belongs to Agusan Del Norte which is one of 13 regions in Philippines known as Caraga. This is a highly urbanized city and it is one of the oldest in Mindanao.

From Manila or Cebu you can get by plane to Butuan either by Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines. As well you can reach the destination by boat from ports in Cebu and Bohol.

Butuan City Philippines is very famous or popular for its well known ancient existence as well as cultural heritage. You can decide to go visit some of its famous museums or even take a tour of Agusan River. Here you can trace ancient history and also you can be lucky to get an artifact too.

What are the essences or experiences that you are likely to find in Butuan City Philippines?

butuan_mapThis is a gateway to all the major cities in Mindanao. It is strategically located on the shores providing access to sea travel as well as piers. This is why it is commonly refer to as history haven. In fact, Butuan was a city even before Philippines gained independence and became a country. The city’s origins can be tracked back to the 14th century. The place is also referred to as timber city of the south. It has many timber as well as artifacts manifesting its history making it a special blend of a city.

There are many ways you can reach the city. You can get here by plane, boat or even just use a bus, if you are from central Mindanao or even southern Mindanao. However, before you start this expedition, make sure you get a good sleep. One of the places to get good accommodation is Almont Hotel or even choose one of the many apartelles or inns which are equally affordable.

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Things to do in Butuan

Butuan Bus Terminal
Butuan Bus Terminal

Thereafter, you can do some packing of food and drinks that you will need for the expedition. It is important for you to vary the means, for instance you can make use of a boat ride which will ride in the longest rive in Mindanao – Agusan River. One of the best boats that you can opt for is Balangay boat; it is very famous as well as unique. The boat was invented in the 4th century and still stands out from all other boats in the world. You can bring along some locals so that the tour becomes more exciting. One thing for sure is that you will experience history in its essence. Locals know a lot of history about the place better than tour guides who in most cases have book knowledge while locals have the experience.

The Sights of Butuan

St. Joseph Cathedral Butuan City
St. Joseph Cathedral Butuan City Philippines

The famous golden image of Agusan is a must see in Butuan. This is sometimes called Golden Tara. It is a gold statuette of about 4 pounds. The statuette shows a female divinity of the ancient world. Because you are already experiencing the ancient culture, it is crucial that you also visit the National Museum commonly known as Balangay Shrine Museum. There in you will see many exhibitions which are mainly of archeological findings in this region. There is so much history in this museum that you will find really amusing and appealling.

If you want an adventure, then you can consider conquering Mount Mayapay. This mountain serves as landmark to Butuan. This is another way of retracing its history by climbing and getting to experience a spectacular view. Consequently, you can consider staying in the city for the many festivals known as fiestas.

Guingona Park Butuan
Guingona Park Butuan City Philippines

Many travelers underestimate that place. This enables you to experience in totality what the city has to offer the visitors in its historical as well cultural experience. This is something that has contributed highly to the receipt highlights that is being given to the city. It is fast becoming a major tourism program in Philippines. There are dozens of people both foreign and local who are striving to discover the wonders that exist in the ancient city together with its beauty.

A bit about the History

Commonly, it is advised that any visitor first of all learns more about the place they intend to visit before venturing o the journey. You will find history of the place to be one of its kinds, it’s very fascinating. The most amazing thing is that unlike many cities that only developed during Spanish colonization, this city was already in existence even before the Spaniards arrived.

From the historical records, you will learn that trade in Butuan was already in force as early as 10th century. This was done with other cultures and nations like Champa (nowadays known as Vietnam) and the Srivajaya peoples of Java in Indonesia. This was further confirmed by unearthing of many artifacts like boats which were used in plying the trade.

During the times of American and Spanish occupation, Butuan continued to progress as the number of those settling continued to increase steadily. Many of the inhabitants were converted to Christianity band it is believed that the first mass was actually held there.

In the aftermath of World War II the city was almost completely destroyed. It was devastated by bombings leaving the place scorched in 1943. Following uprising by Filipino rebels majorly against occupation of foreign forces in 1945, Butuan City was liberated.

Economic growth of that place started in early 1960s due to shipping and production of wood to the neighboring cities. Economic growth of that place started in early 1960s due to shipping and production of wood to the neighboring cities. Nowadays the city is because of its huge economic activity one of the most urbanized areas in Mindanao.

Visit the Museum

The emerging of cities in Mindanao, also tourism began to play a huge role in the evolution of Butuan city. Balangay Shrine Museum is one of the amazing sites that you should not leave without seeing. However, the recovered nine wooden boats are the top attractions. Archaeologists say they are over 1000 years old. They span about 30ft length and 7 feet wide.

The Butuan Regional Museum also highlights the past story of the city. This is divided into sections which showcase works of ancient inhabitants and crafts. These range from gold relics, metal relics, wood and pottery. It is this resemblance of relics and those of java people which gives proof of interaction that was there between the two civilizations.

Agusan River is the longest and the most popular spots. Touring this place will give you the sense of history you craze for. You can also attend the Abayan festival which is for the patroness of the river; this happens yearly whereby there is a river procession. There is also Kahimunana festival which happens every January to honor Sto. Niño, the patron of Butuan City Philippines.

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Map of Butuan City